Friday, March 15, 2013

The hashtag: Not a status symbol

Or, I should clarify, Facebook itself is now experiementing. Many Facebook users have been experimenting with hashtags for a long time already.

Is this development good or bad? Hard to say. I like hashtags on Twitter, at least as long as they accompany a legible message. And sometimes, a hashtag on Facebook makes for a funny punch line. But hashtags, by definition, came about as a way to maximize Twitter's forced conciseness. On Facebook, where character limit is barely a thing, hashtags scream, "I am all about the SEO for my social presence!" Or, to put it more succinctly, #yourepretentious.

I'm #hangingout in #LFT! It's #changed so much since I last visited. #lafayette #myhometown #cantfindanything #grrrrr #city #louisiana #google

There's simply no excuse to abbreviate so obnoxiously, or append 12 tags to what you wrote. Write like you talk, not like Google's spiders want you to talk.

At the very least, have the excuse that you cross-post on both Twitter and Facebook. And then stop doing that. They're two different forums with different strengths and weaknesses. Embrace them.

But if people must hash it out on Facebook, at least it'll mean something now. Probably something awful like greater exploitation of user data. And we have the awful statuses to thank for that.



Anonymous said...

Do you realize how often you are starting sentences with the word "so"?

Ian McGibboney said...

I've been starting blogs that way lately, true.

To answer your question on this one: once.